Posts Tagged ‘mornings’

Mornings with Scamp

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” — J.B. Priestley 

Morning coming over the desert behind my apartment complex in the Cataline Foothills in Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

Sunshine and Doves

I’m a morning person, most often up before the sun peeks above the horizon. At the first upward flick of an eyelid, I’m ready and eager to bounce out of bed. It’s as if I can’t wait to discover what surprises the day will bring. It probably helps that I an optimist who usually thinks all glasses are half full and not half empty.

Scamp, with his head cocked in curiosity. — Photo by Shanna Lee

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a frsh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” — J.B. Priestley

This early morning exuberance has not helped me win friends over the years, especially among coworkers who only came to life just before quitting time. It might have helped if I hadn’t always been so verbosely cheerful, but the bratty kid in me was usually in charge.

My early morning enthusiasm these days, however, is greeted with equal enthusiasm from my new canine companion Scamp, who in my introductory blog https://patbean.net/2019/05/13/loss-and-joy-and-a-true-friend/  about him, I then called Harley.

He was called Smidge at the shelter when I adopted him, then Harley by me because I simply liked the name and couldn’t think of a better one – until a few days ago.  He was acting like a scamp, and I realized that he actually looked a bit like the dog Scamp in Disney’s movie “Lady and the Tramp.” This is particularly true of his silver-gray coloring and the cute way he cocks his head when looking at you.

Scamp reminds me of Scamp in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.

The name fit like a paw in wet cement — perfectly.

When I first got Smidge/Harley/Scamp on May 11, I had to walk him almost hourly as he hadn’t been house-trained, although he was eight months old.  The walk schedule is now up to about every three hours, and he is sleeping all through the night. I am very happy, wildly happy, to say Scamp was a quick learner and we haven’t had an accident in over a week. Now if I could just teach him the meaning of the word NO!

But when he and I wake up, we are both ready to get outdoors and watch the sun come up. Well, I like to watch the sunrise, Scamp likes to chase the mourning doves that are still snoozing on the ground. The important thing is mornings make both of us happy.

Life is good.

Bean Pat:  Badlands National Park https://anotefromabroad.com/2019/06/10/south-dakota-badlands-national-park/  One of my favorite places.

Blog pick of the day.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining. She can be reached at patbean@msn.com

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A Morning Hoo

A pair of juvenile great horned owls from two years ago sitting n top of one of my apartment complex’s roof. — Photo by Pat Bean

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” — Dalai Lama

Great Horned Owls

It’s still dark when I walk Pepper at 6 a.m. this time of year. Sometimes I try to sleep in, but my beautiful canine companion will have none of that, and so it’s 6:15 when we take our walk – but it’s still dark then, too.

Great owned owl in all its glory. — Wikimedia photo

It’s quiet, too, Mostly. There’s the one guy who walks his cat on a leash the same time I walk Pepper, a couple of people leaving for work, and a clanging gate when one of them forgets to close the gate quietly when they exit.

But it’s silent and peaceful enough that I can enjoy the hoo-ing calls of our resident great horned owls. It’s an eerie sound coming from above, soft and full of nature’s wild things.  Here in the middle of Tucson, I often go to sleep with the yipping of coyotes, and then, more mornings than not, my first greeting of the day is that soft hoo, hoo, hoo from my owl friends.

On a morning like this, which is exactly how I welcomed this day, I can forget for a few minutes that all is not right with the world. And that’s a good thing, don’t you think?

            Bean Pat: A snowy owl https://tinyurl.com/y7pssdek Just another owl tidbit.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

Birdhouse and butterfly atop my bookcase.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Birdhouse and butterfly atop my bookcase. — Photo by Pat Bean

And the Perfect Morning

            As always, the first thing on awakening, I took Pepper for a walk. When we returned from this early morning rejuvenation, I gave her a treat and fixed myself a cup of coffee. This morning, as I waited for the coffee to brew, I looked around for a place to put the butterfly my friend Kim had given me – and suddenly saw it.

Morning cream-laced coffee, with my journal and a book. The perfect start to any day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Morning cream-laced coffee, with my journal and a book. The perfect start to any day. — Photo by Pat Bean

I had recently moved a planter birdhouse that had been hanging on my back balcony to the top of my bookcase. It needed a bit of brightening. By the time my coffee had brewed, the butterfly had a new home, a place where I could daily observe its beauty. I’m fascinated by butterflies, both because of their beauty and because  they represent rebirth.

I then took my coffee out to my bedroom balcony, where I sat down at the patio table set, a recent gift from my youngest daughter. There, with my cream-laced coffee, my journal and a book checked out from the Tucson Audubon’s library, I enjoyed my morning – and reflected on my life – and all the things I hadn’t been doing lately.

Perhaps, I thought, I had just gotten too comfortable. But then, since I had promised to stop beating up on myself for things I hadn’t done, I took a few moments to reflect on the things I had done. One of these, I realized, was making my small apartment a home filled with the love of simple things, like a silk butterfly.

I’m not sure it was the pep talk I needed to attack the chores I had set for myself, the things that give me a sense of accomplishment at the end of a day, but at least I’ve written this blog – and it’s not yet 8 a.m.

Time, I think, for a second cup of coffee and more reflection.

Bean Pat: Dandelions http://tinyurl.com/peocats I saw some sprinkled across the grass this morning, and I, too, wondered why some people abhor them on their lawns.

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            “It is in the early morning hour that the unseen is seen, and that the far-off beauty and glory, vanquishing all their vagueness, move down upon us till they stand clear as crystal close over against the soul.” ~Sarah Smiley

I find mornings magical, a gift to me from Mother Nature. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I find mornings magical, a gift to me from Mother Nature. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Peaceful Time

I filled my nectar feeder this morning for the first time in weeks, having stopped the ritual because of summer bee season here at my apartment complex.

Verdins feed more at my nectar feeder than hummingbirds. I love watching them. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Verdins feed more at my nectar feeder than hummingbirds. I love watching them. — Photo by Pat Bean

As I sat in my living room chair, staring out at it through the open balcony door, a black-chinned hummingbird, perhaps the same one that has been regularly checking the empty feeder, stopped by for breakfast. It was soon joined by a verdin, a tiny bird that is as common as hummingbirds at my feeder.

While hummingbirds usually chase off their own species wanting to feed at the same time, these two peacefully shared the wealth. I wondered why I had taken so long to start filling the feeder again.

And then I drank in my favorite time of day. Too often it’s the only time of day my chaotic brain ceases to race through life. The desert morning was cool and still, making me feel as if I were the only human up and moving around at this moment  in time – just seconds before the sun would bring reality to a world full of good and evil, and beauty and ugliness. The air was tinged with magic, and my soul filled with peace as I gratefully accepted Mother Nature’s gift.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: The rest of the story http://tinyurl.com/lkx3jz9  I guess Ruth never heard about Paul Harvey. By the way, I’m laughing with this blogger because I’ve been in her position. Sometimes what we think is interesting, readers find less so.

Woman of the Mountain http://tinyurl.com/kpuqh4w A  Blue Ridge Parkway hero.  


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            “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” Roger Miller

Morning comes to Tucson's Catalina Mountains. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Morning comes to Tucson’s Catalina Mountains. — Photo by Pat Bean

Morning Walk with Pepper

            It was that magical moment before dawn when Pepper and I stepped out for this morning’s walk.

The landscape was all hues of gray, with a stillness over it that spoke louder than words, like the reflections on a lake bereft of a breeze,

I hadn’t heard it, but rain had fallen during the night. The uneven walk and grounds still held puddles that the desert’s dry air had not yet sucked away, or the land claimed for its own. Best of all there was the green smell of trees washed clean of dust, and an earthen spice that wafted up from the ground. No man-made perfume could ever smell as sweet.

The scents intrigued Pepper, whose furry black nose searched everywhere. I simply breathed in Mother Nature’s bounty and felt blessed, and my soul rejoiced that I was a writer. Although words could never fully capture and expel all that I felt during my short morning walk with a beloved canine companion, they were there in my head. And I knew I had to write them down and share.

And now that I’ve done just that, I’ll go have my morning cup of coffee.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Take an armchair walk in France http://tinyurl.com/mfjc37m While the architectural details of the palaces are magnificent, the walk through the trees is what drew me into this blog.

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Sunrise and a Pair of Cooper’s Hawks

“The grand show is eternal It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir

First I saw the sunrise ... -- Photo by Pat Bean

First I saw the sunrise … — Photo by Pat Bean

A morning couldn’t get any better 

And then I saw one hawk ... -- Photo by Pat Bean

And then I saw one hawk … — Photo by Pat Bean

           I was sitting at my computer, drinking my cream-laced Sumatran coffee and wondering what I was going to blog about today when my phone chimed that I had just received a text message.            “Shhh. Come look,” my neighbor Betty Ann had written.

And so, quietly, I stepped out onto my third-floor balcony and was greeted with a blooming-pink sunrise that brought cheer to my soul. Beautiful, I thought, but why did I have to be quiet to see it.

And then I heard a throaty kek-keky-kek coming from a tall tree in the courtyard.

... and then I saw the second Cooper's hawk. -- Photo by Pat Bean

… and then I saw the second Cooper’s hawk. — Photo by Pat Bean

Not one, but two hawks, were sitting among the branches. I quickly, and quietly, stepped back inside and grabbed my camera.

From their rusty-red breasts, I thought I was looking at a couple of red-shouldered hawks, but a few minutes later, when I put my binoculars on them, I realized they were Cooper’s hawks. While both birds of prey have streaked red breasts, their head shapes and the rest of their coloring is quite different.

I’m hoping the pair will build a nest in that tree. What a daily bird-watching adventure I will have if they do. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Hiking the Colorado Trail http://tinyurl.com/b2tqg2l I love hiking trails, but for the next month or so my broken foot is keeping me off them. Perhaps that’ why I so enjoyed my arm-chair hike this morning with this Fabulous 50’s blogger.

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 “The town was glad with morning light; places that had shown ugly and distrustful all night long now wore a smile; and sparkling sunbeams dancing on chamber windows, and twinkling through blind and curtain before sleepers’ eyes, shed light even into dreams, and chased away the shadows of the night.” – Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

These Canada geese floated away from the shore as Pepper and I approached. — Photo by Pat Bean

It Couldn’t Have Been Any More Perfect

The stone wall is a CCC legacy, and the basalt rocks used to build it a legacy of the area’s volcanic past. In the background is Hole 12 of the park’s disc (Frisbee) golf course, a specialty here at Lake Walcott. — Photo by Pat Bean

I varied my walking route this morning, which usually sees me taking the trail from my RV to the boat dock. I chose instead to visit the fishing decks at the other end of the park, then immediately realized why this was a hike usually saved for the evenings.

Early mornings were when the sprinklers came on in this section of the park.

I managed to dodge all but one big spray, while my canine traveling companion, Pepper, purposely splashed through the raining water and any puddles she came across. Her joy at doing so delighted my heart.

A lone western grebe floats on the lake, whose reflective surface is muted this morning by an overcast sky. — Photo by Pat Bean

The overcast day spread a kind of magic over the landscape and lake, whose watery reflections were muted and quiet.

Running ahead, Pepper startled a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds that took to the sky from several Russian olive trees, their golden heads flashing before their dark bodies like large fireflies lighting their way.

A half-dozen nearby magpies were slower to flight as we approached. With their long tails swishing, these black and white birds didn’t go far, landing out of reach but near enough to keep an eye on us as we passed.

A goose family, also wanting to get out of reach, floated farther out from shore.

Sweet pea blossoms beneath a Russian olive tree added to the morning’s perfection. — Photo by Pat Bean

As they did that, a couple of mallards quacked from behind some bank bushes. I never did see them, but a mallard is one of the few North American ducks whose voice I can recognize. It’s the only one that quacks like Donald Duck.

Pepper and I took the long way back to our RV, taking the route that led past the park’s day-use grounds and visitor center. I noticed that a patch of sweet pea blossoms had sprung up beneath a tree and at the edge of some sagebrush that the sprinklers catch. They fragrant pink flowers hadn’t been there the last time I had walked this way.

I don’t think, even with the sprinkler dousing I took, that my walk with Pepper could have been any more perfect.

Bean’s Pat: Stewards of Earth http://tinyurl.com/cu36rtm Butterfly House. Fantastic photos. Blog pick of the day from the wondering wanderer.

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 Oh What a Beautiful Morning …

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the faster lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lions wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle … when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

First view of Lake Arrowhead's sunrise -- Photo by Pat Bean

A Howl of a Sunrise

Five minutes later ... Photo by Pat Bean

When Pepper and I stepped out of the RV on our last morning at Lake Arrowhead State Park. It was to a chorus of howling coyotes.

My new canine companion perked her ears up, listened for a couple of seconds and then joined their chorus. What a great traveler she’s going to make, I thought.

Then I stepped around the side of my RV, Pepper’s leash in one hand and a cup of cream-laced African coffee in the other hand, and watched the sun rise.

Every morning should have such a great start.

Bean’s Pat: The Greening of the Great Egret  http://tinyurl.com/br8fhd A great bird decked out in its courting colors.

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 “If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” – J.M. Power


A pair of pileated woodpeckers -- Wikipedia photo


Travels With Maggie

I awoke this morning to a rapid knocking coming from outside my RV, which is now parked in the driveway at the home of my son, Lewis, who lives near the Texas Gulf Coast.

One side of Gypsy Lee faces my son’s house and the other a thick row of hedges and tall trees that daily host a vast variety of birds, squirrels, an occasional cat – and on the foliage-lined walkway every morning at 7 o’clock an elderly man walking his very vocal golden-red bloodhound.

Several small dogs on the far side of the woodsy public right of way, always bark when they hear the hound’s deep rumbling voice. Maggie, 14 and quite deaf, usually sleeps through the ruckus. Thankfully I’m almost always up at this time of morning.


Ivory-billed woodpeckers -- Painting by John James Audubon

I was still abed, however, although awake reading while waiting for daylight, when the knocking begin. It was deeper and more persistence than that of a downy woodpecker, which is the most frequent morning visitor that lets me know it’s hovering nearby by knocking on a tree. The sound always triggers my brain to the tapping and rapping at Poe’s door by a raven.

I suspected my bird this morning, however, might be a pileated woodpecker. A look through my binoculars, which are always handy, confirmed my suspicions. Even in the morning’s dim light, this large woodpecker’s size and shape can’t be missed.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen and heard this close look-alike of the more famous ivory-billed woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct until recently. Several respected ornithologists now say they have seen this bird, whose last documented sighting happened in the 1940s. Other, also respected ornithologists, are skeptical.

I just hope that we humans don’t do to the pileated woodpeckers what we did to the ivory-billed, which is to destroy its last remaining habitat.

The pileated survived because it adapted to change. It’s a good lesson for us all in this fast-changing world.

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The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot.  The possibility is always there.” ~Monica Baldwin

This morning's sunrise at Lake Walcott State Park. I'm a morning person, and catching a sunrise is the best start I can give my day. -- Photo by Pat Bean





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